I wouldn’t consider myself to be someone who follows any particular diet. I appreciate the idea of clean eating and love a good salad, but put beer and a plate of nachos in front of me and I’m as happy as a clam. I grew up in a household that always had potato chips and soda around and I would say I turned out okay. However the more I find myself incorporating healthier choices into my daily routine the more I notice when I decide on the not as nutritional option instead. Especially now as I am trying to produce milk for Ellie and get back my mileage back up the food choices I make and the effects they have on my body have become much more noticeable.
It seems like every time my mom is in town she points out the fact that Robert and I don’t really have any junk food in our house. I don’t know why I never notice it when she isn’t around, but she is one hundred percent right. We don’t consider ourselves health nuts at all and as much as I would love to be all about clean eating it never seems affordable to me. Although we do not really have much unhealthy food I still don’t really think of us as healthy eaters.
I feel like if you don’t incorporate kale into your smoothie, always use almond butter over the traditional peanut, or substitute spaghetti squash when you are making pasta you cannot be deemed healthy in today’s world. Since when did that become the case? Why is it that if I can’t source every ingredient in my fridge to its non GMO origination I do not think I am eating healthy? What has happened to us as a society that my banana no longer makes me feel like it is a “good” snack choice because it is not organic? When kids draw their food pyramids does the fruit that goes into that triangle space have an organic label on it? If you aren’t gluten free, paleo, or vegan can you even find something to eat at Whole Foods? These are serious questions going through my mind.
Now please do not get me wrong- anyone who is gluten free, paleo, vegan or whatever is not the problem. I understand that for some people becoming gluten free has completely changed their lifestyle and that is awesome. I also totally think that it’s great to buy organic fruits and vegetables and avoid GMOs if possible. I even like kale. However my point is that I truly wonder when we decided to almost stratify healthy choices. You can be a healthy person and know every detail about the nutrition you consume or you can be in the other category which must mean you simply don’t care about your body at all.
I try to make healthy choices about what i buy at the grocery so that myself and my family have those options. However I do not think having a box of Cheese Its in the pantry or some ice cream in the fridge makes me unhealthy either. I try to be mindful of what I eat and take cues from my body. If I want to run in the morning eating a greasy burger the night before isn’t the best plan for success. I do know that when we eat greasy food my body tends to not like it and I spend the entire night contemplating why I ate it in the first place. The more consistently I make good choices as to what I put into my body the worse I feel when I eat something not so good for me. Once my body gets used to good fuel it craves it over other options.
So I guess I AM a healthy eater and I shouldn’t feel weird saying that. No I may not know the nutritional information of what I eat and I may not buy organic. I do know that choosing an apple over a bag of chips makes me healthy though. I also know that eating non organic fruits and veggies is probably a better alternative than eating none at all. I’m still going to have a beer or glass of wine when I want to and choose the fried option every so often. However I truly think being cognizant of what I am choosing to consume each day is a major part of being a healthy person. So to everyone out there who doesn’t consider themselves a healthy eater, I hope this makes you rethink the way you label yourself.
Make a better choice for one of your snacks or meals this week. It doesn’t have to be the “best” possible option but challenge yourself to just make a slightly better one when you are tempted to really indulge. Here’s hoping we’re all “healthy” eaters soon.